South West Coast – Lands End to (almost) The Lizard

Several years ago we finished the northern section of the South West Coast Path. This week a smaller group of us went back to take on the next section – Lands End to The Lizard.

We managed 16 “strenuous” miles on day one, 18 “moderate” miles on day two and then cut day three short to 8 more moderate miles. We didn’t make the Lizard, but we had fun trying! The landscape was beautiful but the weather was cruel to say the least. Snack breaks on day three were bitterly cold with a constant freezing wind blowing head-on as we walked. Can’t complain too much though as the rest of the UK was hit by unseasonal snowstorms.

We witnessed a real life air-sea rescue on day two. An RAF Sea King turned up to winch a fisherman from the freezing sea after he’d been swept off the rocks. We were convinced they were pulling out a corpse but next day the local radio confirmed he had miraculously survived the 10-foot swells, jagged rocks and freezing water. Watching the rescue unfold from the coast path left us in awe but also a little shaken. Coastal erosion was in full swing and we often found ourselves on detours around huge new cracks in the ground or navigating slippery wet rocks above certain-death falls. Maybe these things are best done in the summer!

That said, it was fantastic to notch up another 42 miles of stunning coastline. Hopefully next year will see us back in Cornwall for the next section of walking and more warm pub parlours, good beer and fresh fish suppers.

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